Popular Sports Trading Styles 

 May 24, 2023

By  Matt Finnigan

Sports trading has become an increasingly popular way for sports bettors and punters to make a profit from their passion for sports.

With the advent of technology, trading markets have become more accessible and efficient than ever before. However, with so many sports trading styles available, it can be difficult to decide which one to employ.

This article will provide an in-depth analysis of three popular sports trading styles - fundamental analysis, swing trading, and scalping. We will examine their strategies, advantages, and challenges.

Fundamental Analysis

Explanation of Fundamental Analysis in Sports Trading

To make informed decisions about pre-game sporting markets you will need to add some kind of fundamental analysis, key factors such as team and player performance, injury reports, and market sentiment can have influence on the direction on the market.

When conducting fundamental analysis, traders may use various tools such as statistical analysis, trend analysis, and news analysis. As a trader you need to develop a routine that includes the information you need to potentially take advantage of future price movement in the markets.

Key Factors to Consider When Conducting Fundamental Analysis

Team and Player Performance: Evaluating the performance of teams and individual players is crucial in fundamental analysis.

If you take the Premier League for example there is so much available data to help you determine how the team is performing in comparison to their opponents.

Injury Reports and Team News: Injuries and team news can significantly impact the outcome of a sports event.

Key players missing or returning to a team can cause huge price movements in the markets. By staying updated on these developments, traders can anticipate market reactions and make informed trading decisions.

Market Sentiment and Public Perception: The two above factors can significantly influence the masses and this can be confirmed via media coverage, fan opinions, and social media trends to gauge public sentiment towards teams, players, or specific events.

Positive or negative sentiment can influence the odds which can create low-risk trading opportunities before the event starts.

Swing Trading

Principles of Swing Trading in Sports

Swing trading is a trading style that focuses on capturing short to medium-term price swings within a given sports market.

Traders who employ swing trading strategies aim to identify and take advantage of market trends, both upward and downward, by entering and exiting positions at strategic points.

The skill comes in identifying support and resistance price points in the market so you can take advantage when the market reverses.

Identifying Swing Trading Opportunities

The longer that you experience the markets, especially the horse racing markets will enable you to spot similar market patterns and trends.

The tick increments on Betfair can create market support or resistance at certain cross over price points in the market, for example prices below 3.0 move down at increments of 0.02 and 0.05 above 3.0.

Managing Risks and Setting Stop-Loss Orders in Swing Trading

Risk management is a crucial aspect of swing trading. Traders implement various strategies to minimize potential losses and protect their capital. One common risk management technique is setting stop-loss orders, which automatically trigger a trade exit if the market moves against the trader beyond a predetermined level.

Additionally, traders may also use trailing stops, which adjust the stop-loss level as the market moves in their favour, allowing them to secure profits while still giving room for potential market fluctuations.


Overview of Scalping as a Sports Trading Style

Scalping is a sports trading style characterized by making quick, short-term trades to profit from small market movements. Scalpers aim to capitalize on the spread—the difference between the back and lay prices—by executing numerous trades in a short period. The objective is to accumulate small gains from each trade, which can add up to significant profits over time.

Characteristics of Scalping and Its Advantages

Quick Trades: Scalping involves rapid trade execution, with positions held for only a brief duration, ranging from seconds to minutes. Traders aim to take advantage of immediate price discrepancies and capitalize on small price movements.

Small Profits and Tight Risk Management: Scalpers target small, incremental profits from each trade. By focusing on a high win-rate strategy, they aim to minimize the impact of potential losses. Risk management plays a crucial role in scalping, as trades are executed frequently and exposure to the market is constant.

Liquidity and Volume: Scalpers primarily target liquid sports markets with high trading volumes. This ensures there is sufficient liquidity for quick entry and exit at desired prices. Higher liquidity also reduces the risk of slippage, where the executed price differs from the intended price due to market fluctuations.

Effective Risk Management Techniques in Scalping

Setting Stop-Loss Orders: Scalpers typically set tight stop-loss orders to limit potential losses if the market moves against their positions. These orders are often placed just outside the expected bid-ask spread to minimize risk.

Traders that don’t stick to their risk management structure run the risk of suffering bigger than expected losses and market breaks the stop loss and trader hasn’t closed their position.

Novice traders can also fall into the trap of exiting the market too quick when in profit and missing out on profits if the market goes into a price swing.

The key to find stable markets such as the draw price in football or short price favourites at the large horse racing festivals such as Royal Ascot will produce good markets to practice scalping.

Key Differences Among Fundamental, Swing, and Scalping Trading Styles

Fundamental Analysis:

Fundamental analysis relies on qualitative factors and examines the broader context of sports events, while other trading styles may focus on different indicators to determine price movements.

Swing Trading:

Swing trading involves holding positions for a hours, while other trading styles may have shorter trading periods.


Scalping involves frequent trading and targets small, incremental profits, while other trading styles may have different profit targets or trade frequencies.

Pros and Cons of Each Sports Trading Style

Fundamental Analysis:

Pros: Provides a broader understanding of the market, takes into account qualitative factors, and can uncover long-term value opportunities.

Cons: Relies on subjective analysis, may not capture short-term market movements, and requires comprehensive research.

Swing Trading

Pros: Captures medium-term trends, allows for more relaxed decision-making, and reduces the impact of short-term market noise.

Cons: Requires patience and discipline, may miss out on short-term trading opportunities, and can be vulnerable to sudden market reversals.


Pros: Takes advantage of small price movements, generates quick profits, and leverages high trading volumes.

Cons: Requires advanced technology and fast execution, can be stressful due to frequent trades, and may have higher transaction costs.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Most Suitable Sports Trading Style

Trading Goals: Consider whether the goal is long-term investments, short-term gains, or quick profits.

Risk Tolerance: Assess the ability to handle market volatility and potential losses.

Time Commitment: Evaluate the availability to actively monitor and execute trades.

Skill Set: Consider personal strengths in analysis, programming, or quick decision-making.

Market Conditions: Adapt the trading style to the liquidity, volatility, and efficiency of the sports markets.

It's important to note that there is no definitive "best" trading style, as the suitability of each style depends on individual preferences, market conditions, and the trader's skill set.

Traders may choose to combine multiple trading styles or adapt their approach based on evolving market dynamics. Experimentation, continuous learning, and experience will help traders determine the most effective style for their sports trading endeavors.


In conclusion, understanding popular sports trading styles such as fundamental analysis, swing trading, and scalping is essential for sports bettors and punters who want to make a profit from their passion. Each style has its own strategies, advantages, and challenges, and traders should choose the one that suits their goals and risk appetite.

By keeping up to date with the latest sports news and market trends, and using technology to their advantage, traders can maximize their chances of success in the sports trading market.

About the author 

Matt Finnigan

A full time professional sports trader since 2002 and I expanded my investment portfolio during the 2020 pandemic to include crytpocurrency and forex trading when the sporting world ground to a halt.

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